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Thats the Way of the World


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Gritty, obscure musical drama stars Harvey Keitel as a talented young record producer who becomes embroiled in pop music's seamy underbelly when his clueless boss instructs him to ignore a hot new R&B act (played by Earth, Wind & Fire!) in favor of a troubled vocal trio. Cynthia Bostick, Ed Nelson, Bert Parks, and famed D.J. Murray the 'K' also star. Songs include the title track, "Shining Star" and "Reasons."

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Amazon.com: 39 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Blacksplotation? Feb. 27 2008
By G. Reynolds - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Irony? It's a pity. Back when this movie was originally made in 1975, movies starring black artists had a tendency to be short on plot, budget, & actual input from the actors. There was precious little input from the members of EWF, & the story line suffered. Of course Sig Shore of Superfly fame was notorious for these movies, & in true form the REAL stars of the movie, EWF,had little more than a cameo appearance in a movie named after their breakthrough LP. They litteraly mirrored the record labels brush off of the Group (EWF) in the movie. Although the live footage, & the instrumental backing done by EWF was stellar, there was precious little of it. Even Harvey Kietel couldn't save such a bad script. Sad to say most record companys still do business in this fashion, so the script comes off as sad but true. It's a fair assessment of the music & the blacksplotation films of the time, & a sad assessment of the music industry as a whole. Not a great film, but entertaining none the less. Outside of EWF's music, I'd say the plot reeks of Saturday Night Fever psydo drama. If you're a big EWF fan, you'll enjoy their music, but be prepared for a long wait to get to it. Rare film. The movie is OK.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The Lost film of 1975 May 26 2006
By V. Versher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The movie that explains their awesome breaktrough album That's the Way of the World(1975 CBS Records)album soundtrack. Here is a copy of the official press release:

Thursday, May 04, 2006

That's the Way of the World press release

Current mood: excited

Category: Movies, TV, Celebrities

CELEBRATE THE 70S AS BCI PRESENTS THE FILM DEBUT OF THE LEGENDARY EARTH, WIND & FIRE

THATS THE WAY OF THE WORLD

First Time on Home VideoAvailable July 18th For $19.98;

Coinciding with Earth, Wind & Fires Summer Concert Tour;

Breakthrough Film Score Features Classic Hits

Shining Star and Reasons

Also Available This Summer in HD-DVD Format

Los Angeles, CA Theyre one of the most inspirational, influential and successful bands in music history, and have consistently changed the face of R&B and pop music over the past 35 years. In 1975, their breakthrough hits Shining Star and Reasons were the featured songs on the soundtrack for the film Thats the Way of the World. Fresh on the heels of their 23rd album, Illumination, BCI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Navarre Corporation, will release this long thought lost film Thats the Way of the World on DVD July 18th, at a suggested retail price of $19.98. The title will also be available this summer in the HD-DVD format. Featuring an array of special features, Thats the Way of the World explores the politics that surround the recording industry and a producer trying to fight the system, and stars Harvey Keitel and Earth, Wind & Fire.

Earth, Wind & Fire has reached iconic status in the music industry, earning a plethora of accolades too numerous to mention, said Ed Goetz, President, BCI. This film and soundtrack helped skyrocket their career, and were pleased that it will finally be available to the widest audience possible.

Thats the Way of the World stars Keitel as Coleman Buckmaster, a highly-regarded record producer who appreciates the talent of The Group, played by Earth, Wind & Fire. But the system under which Buckmaster works sees things differently. The record executives want him to focus on a white pop act whom they feel has the sound America wants. To keep his creative integrity, Buckmaster carefully begins to fight the system that has made him the respected producer he has become.

Special features include:

Feature length audio commentary with Earth, Wind & Fire members Verdine White and Ralph Johnson

Eight page booklet featuring liner notes and photos

Stills and poster gallery

Trailers and TV spots
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
My Finacee is a happy man!!! May 11 2010
By Nicole T. Walters - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My fiancee has been looking for this movie for years. He told me EW&F was in a movie with the same name as their album, but I didn"t believe him. He has watch this movie over and over since he got it. Thanks!!! A happy man makes a happy home! :)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Look at it as an historical document Dec 26 2012
By artist in buffalo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I remember back around 1976 when a friend of mine brought the album "That's the Way of the World" over to my house. I read the cover and saw that the album was a soundtrack to a movie. I wondered why I had never heard of this movie and why nobody I knew ever talked about it. Now I know why...because it SUCKED! No, I'm kidding. It's because it came in and out of theaters so quickly that practically no one saw it.

This movie is worth the price of admission if only just to see Charles Stepney in the studio, and actually playing the piano, albeit he only plays a few chords. The other interesting parts for me were the studio scenes where the session musicians laid down the tracks for that crappy song by The Pages.

You could take the plot and dialogue of this movie and apply it to the present day music industry and it will answer your question "Why is music such crap these days?"
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not great, but worth owning for gung-ho EWF fans... April 20 2012
By BiggO - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When I got my own copy of the "That's the Way of the World" album in 7th grade (around '87), I noticed "hidden text" that said that it was the soundtrack to a movie of the same name. I'd always wanted to see the movie, and since I AM a gung-ho EWF fan, that's why I bought it.

As a movie, IT'S NOT GREAT. The acting is sub-par (and that's saying A LOT since this came out during the so-called "Blaxploitation" era), and it seems that the writers rely on cliches in portraying many of the characters. I give the Maurice White and the other cats an "A" for effort for the little bit of acting they try to do, though. They're not in the movie very much. Like others have said, there's only a little bit of live peformance footage.

From the perspective of a musician, FUNKATEER, and EWF lover, though, the opening scene of the movie is what I enjoyed the most...seeing the cats in a simulated studio situation. For other connoisseurs of soul, a real treat is getting to see footage and hear the voice of Charles Stepney (who tries some acting), EWF's legendary producer and arranger. Also there are a couple of montage's demonstrating the recording/creative process. These were truly pleasures to watch.

As far as the extras were concerned, no big whoop. I was particularly disappointed with the commentary. Ralph Johnson's voice came through loud and clear, but it sounded like Verdine White was on the other side of the room without a mic and was largely hard to understand throughout. How the producers of the package allowed that to happen is beyond me.

All in all, it you're an EWF completist, you should own this DVD...just BECAUSE. For the rest of you, well, you can take it or leave it.


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